How to Hire Automotive Technicians

If you are like many of our clients across the country, hiring automotive technicians is a high priority and constant struggle. The pool of trained technicians has not kept up with the growth of population and increase in vehicle sales, leaving a major shortfall.

As of 2017 there are 819,000 automotive technicians working in the US, and of those 197,000 are ASE certified. Only .2% of the population are automotive mechanics, and .06% are ASE certified. If your dealership has a market area of 100,000 people there are 250 total technicians working in your market, and 62 of them are ASE certified automotive technicians. Average turn-over is 35% for techs so 21 certified techs will find a new job in your area this year.

With such a small number of possible trained candidates you need a great plan to find the people you need. Here are simple steps that give you a leg up on your competitors in a hard market.

  • Have a long term advertising strategy. There are going to be an ebb and flow to technicians searching for jobs. It is possible that in any 30 day window there aren’t any job shoppers in the market. Have positions advertise 365 days a year, so no matter when a technician becomes available your job is there.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Use a service to spread your advertised job across as many job boards as possible. There is no way to know which online job board a technician will search, or where they may have registered their name. Get your job out everywhere. You need to play the odds and reach as many people as possible
  • Connect with vendors that meet technicians. Every day vendors visit dealerships and interact with technicians. This can be Snap-On, Mac Tools, the uniform vendor, even the coffee coach. If you are a GM or Fixed Ops Director walk out and meet each of these vendors. Offer them a sizable referral fee if they send you a technician to hire. Pay particular attention to the coffee coach, technicians are relaxed around them and tend to talk. These guys have a lot of opportunity to steer someone your way with a simple mention of your store in front of a disgruntled mechanic at another store.
  • Have a compelling offer. Having an ad that just says you want automotive technicians is not enough. Your job ad needs to be motivating. Speak to what the technician job shopping wants to know. Advertise estimated pay, many of these mechanics are hunting for a job to make more. Use pictures or video to show potential hires your shop, you need to sell the working conditions. Make sure to mention all your benefits like employee purchase pricing for parts and cars, vacation, and paid training to advance their career.
  • Go the extra mile to meet. Find a way to meet a technician for an interview asap, when they express interest. Job shopping decisions get made in the blink of an eye, and having a tech come in a few days from now because of scheduling might be too late. Be willing to totally adjust your schedule to meet, even during morning rush, or after hours. A solid tech wrenching 50 flat hours a week, with an effective labor rate of $60, generates $150,000 per year. There is nothing happening in the shop that is making you that much money in a couple hours. So if need be drive to meet the tech, find time after hours, heck send a limo for them.

Go out and start putting your plan in place. The technician you want might be job hunting now. Feel free to inbox me with any questions or help getting going. We live to help companies hire.

Greg Gershman – Employer Brand Ambassador – Recruitment HQ

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